Statements and Webcast
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
H.E. Dr. Mohammad Hossein Niknam, First Deputy Minister of Health
9 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
MOHAMMAD HOSSEIN NIKNAM, Acting Health Minister of Iran, said that strengthening overall health infrastructure was a prerequisite for a successful and replicable response to HIV/AIDS. In the absence of a well-functioning and vast primary health-care network, it was unlikely that comprehensive and integrated services for controlling the epidemic would ever become a reality. In any case, a successful response must take fully into account the socio-cultural circumstances and cultural sensitivities of the respective communities in which they were carried out, he said. “In this regard, the role of the family in reducing risky behaviours, especially among young people, should be emphasized.”
As for Iran’s national response, he said the Government had developed a strategic plan that addressed the specific needs of the general population, as well as targeted at-risk groups, including those living with or affected by HIV and AIDS. Iran’s national strategic plan focused on providing age-appropriate information and education, voluntary counselling and testing, reducing harm, and HIV care and treatment. The Health Ministry, working closely with members of the National AIDS Control Task Force, had rolled out comprehensive programmes to achieve the goals of the national strategic plan — universal access to prevention, care, treatment and support. Iran’s activities also included establishing drop-in centres, launching outreach programmes and peer-group education initiatives, as well as establishing counselling and harm-reduction centres for vulnerable women.